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employment is the real problem

The sudden outburst against the Agneepath scheme of recruitment in the army may seem like an immediate reaction, but in reality the roots of youth anger and violent protests are much deeper. This is related to their future concern about employment. For the last two years, there is no reinstatement in the army, even then the youth were waiting and preparing with the hope that at some point the reinstatement would start. Only when the plan was announced to provide contract jobs for four years instead of regular reinstatement, the youth reacted with great anger against it. They took to the streets, ransacked railway stations, torched vehicles, blocked roads and used all possible means to express their anger against the government. Then suddenly peace was restored after three or four days of violent protests. It can be assumed that a large section of the protesting youth must have been preparing to get a four-year job there. Because there are no job and employment options in front of him.

He is not satisfied with the arguments given by the government. But he is forced. He was also intimidated by the kind of threatening language spoken by senior army officers. He worried about his career going bad. He is compulsively calm. In desperation and hopelessness, he has compromised. In the last few days, there have been several occasions when hopeful youths have staged such violent demonstrations. In January this year, youths in Bihar had staged a big protest over the disturbances in the Group D recruitment examination in the railways and even then railway stations were vandalized, trains were burnt in many cities. There were also demonstrations in Uttar Pradesh and some other states over irregularities in railway exams. Closure of recruitment and dwindling of regular employment opportunities are not the only problems that are troubling students and youth. The problems of question paper leak and result rigging are also bothering the common students a lot.

They are under psychological pressure that regular jobs in the country have become very less. Recruitment in government departments is either closed or is happening very less. Public sector companies are being sold, thereby reducing employment opportunities. There are many figures in front of everyone telling the horrifying picture of unemployment in the country. The unemployment rate is above seven percent. This is happening for the first time in the history of India that employment is increasing in agriculture sector instead of manufacturing and service sector. Keep in mind that the most employing sector is manufacturing, for which the Make in India scheme was announced to take it forward. Despite this, if employment is increasing in the agriculture sector, then the reality can be gauged. It is happening for the first time in the last several years that the number of people seeking and doing employment under MGNREGA has increased. It also narrates the story of employment of both organized and unorganized sector of the country.

Private think tank ‘Center for Monitoring Indian Economy’ ie CMIE has told recently that the number of people who are not looking for jobs is increasing rapidly. According to the CMIE data, there are 450 million people in India who are of working age and are eligible for some kind of employment but are not looking for jobs. There are 90 crore people of legal working age in India, out of which half are not looking for jobs because they have given up hope of getting a job. According to the same report, the overall labor participation fell from 46 per cent to 40 per cent between 2017 and 2022. More than 20 million people left work during this period and only nine per cent of the eligible population got employment. Only nine per cent of the women in the country have work or are looking for work.

Think, where there is such a situation of employment, if there is an expectation of permanent and regular job in one of the services and suddenly the age-old recruitment rules are changed arbitrarily, then what will happen to the youth? What state of mind will they be in? That’s why there is no hesitation in saying that the real problem is not the Agneepath scheme, but the real problem is the lack of regular jobs. Had there been regular recruitment going on from the army to the railways and in the central and state governments and then the rules of recruitment were changed at one place, then perhaps such a violent and violent reaction would not have been seen.

In fact, the employment scenario has completely changed in the last five-six years. The slowdown that has started in the Indian economy since the demonetisation in November 2016 has not been handled. The decline in the rate of GDP, which started from the quarter of March 2018, has continued till date. Meanwhile, the economy reached the abyss due to the lockdown caused by the Corona epidemic for two years. The rhetoric that is being made today of the projected growth rate of seven or eight per cent is because of the marginal basis of growth rate of minus or one or two per cent. In fact, India’s GDP has barely reached the GDP of 2018-19. Therefore, the number of people who are becoming hopeless from getting a job is increasing and those who are still hoping, when they get a setback, they react in the same way as has been seen against the Agneepath scheme.

Shubham Bangwal

Shubham Bangwal is a Senior Journalist at You can follow him on Twitter @sb_0fficial
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